Your Hidden Superpower

OK, brace yourself. These next few paragraphs along with our community tele class in two weeks may fundamentally change your life and business. No, I’m not kidding, when have you known me to… oh wait, yeah, I do it a lot — but not this time, really. It’s happening in me right now and I’m trusting it will be contagious.

If you’ve been reading this journal for a while, you may recall that I’m involved in three communities that overlap quite a bit. The interplay of my yoga community, conscious dance community and spiritual community make for a very rich life for which I am so grateful, especially now.

Last week, my wife and I were invited to a small gathering of remarkable people from all three communities to hear a man speak about a project he’s been growing. His name is Nipun Mehta, and he rocks the world of anyone ready to hear his timeless and timely message. I was profoundly affected and if you’re still reading this, chances are you will be too.

So what’s this superpower we all have? Drum roll please… Generosity. No, nothing new, especially for yogis — and we’ve all seen the now faded bumper stickers about senseless acts of kindness a million times, I know… but hang with me through this and I’ll do my best to show that when applied in a certain way, generosity creates something special inside of us that is hard to describe and must be experienced to fully grasp. To illustrate, allow me to recount a story shared by two dear friends and community leaders only days after this gathering:

This past weekend at Sweat Your Prayers (our weekly moving meditation cleverly disguised as two hours of all-out dancing), they began initiating a simple generosity project. OK, picture this — at 8:30AM every Sunday, 150 people line up to get into this event (and we do it again with 150 more at 11:00AM)… yeah, crazy, right? So, in line with what we discussed at that gathering, they replaced several of the regular admission tickets with Smile tickets and put them randomly in the stack. When one came up, they let the attendee know their admission had already been paid for anonymously. We got to the registration desk just as a surprised dancer was given a smile card and believe me it’s named well, when she grasped what had just happened, her smile lit up the whole room! They also had a Generosity Jar for those who wanted to keep it moving forward… all completely anonymously.

Then they took all the money in the jar and turned it into Smile tickets for the next session. People were so inspired that they naturally wanted to participate, so they put something in the Generosity Jar, giggling with adventure and delight, and hung around to watch all the surprised faces of people who got to dance for free… It was so much fun and it infused the session with so much joy and gratitude. It was clear that everyone was affected, everyone! Are you starting to see where I’m going with this? Let me continue…

Before launching this Generosity Project, these wonderful women told two of their friends about their Smile ticket plan over lunch. Immediately, one friend pulled her wallet out and said “let me be the first to seed the free Smile tickets.”  The other friend pulled out his wallet and gave his credit card to the waitress to anonymously pay the bill for 3 elders sitting at the table next to them and asked to remain anonymous.  The stunned waitress, with tear-filled eyes, thanked them for making her day, and promised she would pass the kindness on herself somewhere in her life.

Another friend heard the story and was instantly inspired. There’s a street corner in a nearby town where many day laborers wait long hours in the sun hoping to get work… So this guy shows up with a stack of a dozen hot pizzas!

Yeah, pass the tissues. What astounds me is how immediately this unleashed superpower gets busy changing the expression on the faces of entire groups of people to one of total joy… and makes them want to do the same for others in whatever way they can, right away! This is the power of transformation on steroids, people!

Those of you who know my work, know that I focus on helping yoga teachers and studios create joyful, fun and meaningful environments that naturally build community and increase business dramatically as a by-product of making people happy. So, lets see, hmmmm… where could we find a receptive audience of good, open hearted, fun-loving, usually generous people who come to a specific place and pay their money to do something important for their physical, mental and emotional health? Sound familiar?

This is the big one, folks. The game changer for your life, the adrenalin for your community of yogis, the very thing that will make your business sparkle, be remarkable and irreplaceable in the lives of your students. This will make your offering of yoga meaningful to more and more people who will discover its magic through your superpower in action.

Want to change the world by doing good? Ready to get out of scarcity and step into the abundance of generosity? Are you ready to grow your community through a shared experience that makes everyone smile?  (OK, dude, we get it, enough with the questions already!) Good.

So here’s what to do: First, sign up for the pay-it-forward Seva-driven tele class now (space is limited, but I’ve opened extra lines for this call) by clicking here. Next, scroll down and watch Nipun Mehta’s TED Talk below. And finally, some homework to prepare for the tele class:

Between now and October 16, take opportunities to do little things that will start the energy flowing — pay the toll for the car behind you; or open the phone book and send someone you don’t know a greeting card with some cash in it;  help out a person in need, in whatever way feels right to you… the opportunities will present themselves when you’re ready to do this anonymously.

In only a few days I have watched this energy snake its way through our community and beyond. We’ll never know the full extent of how many lives we will touch, but we trust it will be huge!

Let’s spread the love and rock this epiphany, yoga style. Let’s see what we as a community of yoga entrepreneurs representing thousands of studios with hundreds of thousands of students in over 100 countries can do with this newly awakened superpower.

Don’t miss this. Get in the conversation. Post your comments and ideas right here on the Upward Facing Blog.


Blog Dog Mascot Naming Contest!

This should be fun – submit your entry of a cool name for our new mascot! Almost anything goes. Get creative. Funny is good, cute is good… If it needs explanation, explain away, we’re listening.

Submissions will be received until Midnight June 29, 2012. One entry per person. We’ll announce the winner and second and third place entries to a worldwide audience in next month’s Yoga Business Journal.

Here are the prizes:

First Place: A full 45-minute Yoga Business or personal coaching session (value: $250 USD)

Second Place: A 30-minute Yoga Business or personal coaching session

Third Place:  A 15-minute Quickie Yoga Business or personal coaching session (You’d be amazed at what can happen in 15 minutes of coaching… really)

OK, let us have it – Our panel of Non-Judges are standing by, awaiting your brilliant entry. Click the “Comments” link near the date, above.



Being Remarkable

The latest issue of the Yoga Business Journal was centered on the theme of being more than just a “me too” yoga business. To me, that means not copying what others are doing, but finding your own unique way of reaching your perfect audience. Have you seen any examples of yoga businesses that are remarkable? Please comment on the article below and share your thoughts and feelings about being remarkable.

Being Remarkable

Lately, my friend John has been saying, “We’re living in the future.” Think about it… although it doesn’t sound very yogic, what used to be science fiction is now becoming part of our everyday lives. The simple fact that we can now make a video phone call to anywhere in the world and see the person we’re speaking with on a small, hand held wireless device, for free, is completely amazing to me.
Wildly successful products and services come from remarkable businesses that have captured our attention with somethingmeaningful to us. It does not matter whether the offer is new technology, pizza, or yoga.

With that in mind, a little while ago, on a brisk morning, I did something fascinating — or crazy, depending on your perspective. At 6:30AM, I drove to the mall, knowing the Apple Computer store would open at 7:00AM and I could beat the rush to buy the new iPhone. By the time I arrived, 15 minutes before the doors opened, the line was already three hours long! And that was if you had a reservation… the non-reserved line was three times longer. It was like a rock concert queue, but for buying a phone!  I was mesmerized.

I enjoy new technology, but I’m quite allergic to standing in line for just about anything… however, there was something magnetic about watching this unique marketing machine in action.

In the long line-up, all kinds of people, in suits, and shorts, young and old, some toting sleeping bags (!) were talking with each other, smiling, offering to bring total strangers a coffee and insisting on paying for it. They were excited and happy to be there. No one complained.

A swarm of blue shirted Apple employees worked the crowd, genuinely smiling, answering questions, striking up conversations and handing out free bottles of water, pastries and hot drinks to all. As they estimated, it took me exactly three hours to get to the front of the line (I still cannot believe I actually did this).

Inside, the store was packed, but no one seemed rushed. The Apple employee assigned to me was calm and thorough. I was done in a few minutes, and as I left the store, I was congratulated and applauded by the door staff as well as those in line! It was surreal.

This is not an accident. Apple has created an enormous, vibrant and talkative niche – a community of their loyal customers who are bound together by a common love of a well designed product line that affects their lives in a positive way (to those of you who have worked with me directly, these ideas should sound familiar).

Apple takes every opportunity to celebrate, surprise and communicate with their community. If the beaming smiles on the faces that morning is any indication, this way of doing business works exceedingly well.

Is it a coincidence that Apple is now worth more as a company than any other, including Microsoft? I don’t think so.

Very few ventures have “becoming remarkable” in their business plan. Most, including yoga businesses, look to the more established in their field and copy the formula with some modifications that personalize their offer to some degree.

It’s not easy to be remarkable, but the payoff is very high (this morning, Apple’s stock just shot up, again! Wow, should have bought some in 1988 when it was $10 a share instead of a gajillion.